Campfire Lyra II Review – Dulcet Symphony

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Introduction –

Campfire have very quickly achieved mass popularity on account of their exceptional flagship earphones and unique designs realised through flawless manufacturing; something that extends even to their most affordable Orion. And like so many others, I hold their Andromeda and Vega in high regard, both are incredibly well-executed flagship earphones with distinct tonalities. However, Campfire’s midrange models aren’t quite so discussed and it brings me greater joy as a reviewer to evaluate these less coveted offerings that get overshadowed by the all alluring flagships and widely accessible budget models. The Lyra II perhaps best suits this description, at the time of writing, there are just 4 photos of the Lyra on Instagram and a mere handful of full reviews on the net. However, though sitting at the base of Campfire’s 3 dynamic driver offerings, the Lyra II is still not to be underestimated and its $699 USD asking price justifies Campfire’s confidence in its performance relative to the greater market. Let’s see how the Lyra II performs.

 

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank JD from Campfire Audio very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the Lyra II for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

 

Accessories –

The Lyra II comes packaged within a bold red box that contrasts to the blue boxes of their balanced armature based models. Upon opening the box, users are greeted by Campfire’s terrific zippered leather case with faux shearling interior that is both protective and luxurious.

Just inside lies the earphones themselves individually draped to prevent scratches during transit. Campfire include 3 pairs of foam tips, 3 pairs of silicone tips and 3 pairs of authentic spinfits with every earphone. They also provide some warranty papers and a decorative pin.

It’s a nice package that offers buyers plenty of fit flexibility and Campfire’s signature case remains one of the best solutions on the market. I would like to see some Comply foam tips in future though the included tips are all of pleasing quality.

 

Design –

It doesn’t take long to appreciate the meticulous detail that went into the production of the Lyra II. The experience will be very familiar to Dorado or Vega users and smaller eared listeners will find a more agreeable experience here than with Campfire’s BA earphones.

The Lyra II is very compact and smoothly formed, promoting an ergonomic fit. Utilizing liquid alloy, the housings feel almost impervious to any kind of stress and the finish is excellent with perfectly joined halves and a tasteful satin purple colour scheme that doesn’t draw attention in public. The plastic nozzles form a continuation of the protruding housings lending them towards a deep fit depth and a small ridge reliably holds tips.

During wear, the earphones continue to impress, their small housings enabling minimal ear contact and excellent long-term comfort during my 2 months of testing. Due to their smaller size, they don’t lock into the ear quite like the BA Campfires but achieve excellent stability through fit depth and an over-ear fit. The Lyra II stay put perfectly during a recent 6km run and posed no issues during daily commute. Some driver flex was present but it is far less prevalent than on the Polaris and hasn’t caused any noticeable degradation.

The earphones do have a small top-mounted vent but isolation remains very impressive with minimal wind noise when outside. Combined with their fit depth and when equipped with a pair of Comply foams, the Lyra II isolates almost as much as Campfire’s sealed armature earphones, putting them among the most attenuating earphones on the market. This makes them perfect for travel and public transport.

The Lyra II utilizes a removable MMCX cable with custom beryllium copper connectors that promise to vastly increase longevity. In use, the connectors are solid with even tension and devoid of intermittency or wobble. Campfire’s silver plated Litz cable is also excellent, easily among the best manufacturer included units on the market. The cable has a typical round 4-conductor braid with smooth, supple sheathing that makes the wire both tangle resistant and super compliant. All terminations are well relieved, especially the beefy right angle jack, this is a fantastic cable.

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

4 Comments

  1. Jason on

    Thanks for the reply Ryan, I appreciate it. Mind if I ask, what do you mean “it takes some adjustment”?

    The new umpro50 are identical to the old but with a different housing as per westone.

    Couple of pros and cons I found in my search for a high end iem.

    I bought the westone and dunu on Amazon, was able to test them both and return the one I didn’t like, ie , the dunu, all for free. I’m not even sure where they sell most the iems you review but I don’t find them on the two places I’ve bought from in the past. I agree build quality for the money is phenomenally better, however comfort and listening fatigue were a huge factor for me. Can you listen to these loud for hours at a time with zero fatigue? I know you can’t with the dunu, which were very similar in your review , and that’s not mentioning how unbelievable uncomfortable they were instantly or how impossible it was to get a good seal, for me at least. If they sold these on amazon I def would have tried them out. I use mine primarily to workout with at home, so that played a huge factor. Have you tried any of the lightening dacs with wolfson chips? The one I have is better than the high end amp I tested it against and insanely portable and cheap.

    • Ryan Soo on

      Adjustment basically details how you adjust to a certain sound signature over time and perceive it as more balanced, making other earphones sound strange or off by comparison. It’s an important factor to consider when switching to a new earphone though the Lyra II and UM 50 have a similar style of sound.

      Regarding the new UM Pro 50, it is different despite what Westone might say, I’ve listened to both that and the original model. The changes are subtle but there, the housing can play a large role in the sound, same with the Shure SE530 and SE535.

      The Dunu is renowned for its poor fit but I didn’t personally have nearly as much trouble as some other reviewers and was one of the first to review it so it wasn’t common knowledge at that point. Everyone has different ears and I lucked out with this one.

      Fatigue is usually a result of treble emphasis, the Dunu is a brighter earphone with more treble and upper midrange than both the Lyra II and Westone. The Lyra II has similar treble emphasis as the UM Pro 50 but is relaxed overall, I’m not a high volume listener, but it’s one of the least fatiguing earphones I’ve listened to for a while, especially with foam tips if you’re comfortable using them. I have used them to workout a few times to many’s dismay, they stay put and their style of sound works well in a loud environment.

      I have a few Wolfson sources, nice DACs in general, some are better than others of course. Have yet to look into the lightning ones since I daily an Android phone. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. Jason on

    Love a comparison with the westone umpro 50 although when I got mine a few months back I also bought a dunu dk 3001 at the same time. The dunu were so uncomfortable they were basically useless, but even then, the umpro sounded better. How come you never compare anything to westone? Build quility and longetivity is lacking however in them, I don’t feel like they will survive 5 years even though I baby them, my westone 3 didn’t.

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Jason,

      I have owned many of Westone’s in-ears in the past and they are certainly enjoyable and ergonomically excellent earphones. I have also had some issues with the UM 50 Pro, one driver filled with condensation in when I was in Thailand and my W30’s had faulty MMCX connectors. Luckily, I was able to get both replaced but I can’t freely recommend them as a result (and comparison is a form of recommendation); if someone has a problem, that’s partially my responsibility. I also feel that they don’t currently offer the best value for money but that’s subjective of course.

      As far as the Lyra II vs UM 50 Pro comparison goes, it takes some adjustment but the Campfire is generally more balanced and technically sound. The Lyra II has better sub-bass extension with greater rumble and is more linear throughout where the UM 50 has a noticeable upper-bass and lower-treble emphasis. As such, the Lyra’s midrange is more balanced and less coloured though the UM 50 Pro has more aggressive detailing. The Lyra II has better treble extension granting it more air and space, it is the more resolving, balanced earphone though the more V-shaped Westone can be more engaging if you don’t mind some treble blunting up top and tubby bass.

      If you’re concerned about their build but love the sound, perhaps you can look into Westone’s updated UM Pro line, the new Um 50 is slightly more balanced to my ear, but I can’t comment on longevity since I don’t own a pair.

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

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